Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tea Business Spotlight 1 - Joy's Teaspoon

Welcome to the first of our Tea Business Spotlights, in which we allow tea people to share insights on running their business. If you're a tea business owner and you'd like to take part in an upcoming spotlight, please contact us.

Joy's Teaspoon
Las Vegas, Nevada

How long have you been in business?
Launched the site April 1, 2010. Although, I initially began the business idea/plan in 2006.

What is the size/scope of your business?
Family run business located in Las Vegas, NV. We participate in a number of local events including tasting events at local libraries, boutiques, etc.

Why tea?
I am a self-proclaimed home chef and have always enjoyed cooking. Had my first run-in with loose leaf tea in 2006 in Chicago and instantly fell in love with the flavor, processes for brewing, history of the drink, etc. I am an avid tea drinker now with a desire to share that passion with anyone I meet.

How did you get the ball rolling on your venture?
1 - Got my husband on board!
2 - Got my business plan together and drafted up a budget for start up costs. Between those two things I had a solid checklist of things to take care of.
3 - Really convinced my husband (he's a numbers kind of guy!).

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your business?
We are web-based! Keeps our overhead low and we reach markets all over the United States. I also feel like I am a pretty creative marketeer! I am always open to opportunities and am always on the lookout.

What were/are the biggest challenges of getting into/being in the tea business?
I had two very different challenges.
1 - Finding vendors that provide products at the level of quality I was looking for. The World Tea EXPO was awesome for that. I need to see things, try things, taste things, etc. This one venue provided me with hundreds of vendors at one time. A huge time saver for someone starting out.
2 - Staying focused. There are a million different directions one can go in this industry and I found that I had to stay focused on one path or I could easily go the wrong direction.

What would you do differently, if anything?
Better product research at the beginning and I would have spent less on certain products and more on others. I'm not too fond of the thought that I wasted even one dime of that startup money on something that is not helping the business now. On the topic of advertising, specifically paid advertising, I think I would be more careful than I even am now. I did not pay for too much advertising in the beginning, but the stuff I did do did not pay off well enough. It wasn't as targeted as I would have liked and I saw little to no return.

How's business?
Business has been great! I read articles all the time about tea being the "comeback" beverage. I couldn't agree more. My numbers have steadily increased each month by at least 25%, my marketing efforts are gaining a foothold and I am beginning to receive some very valuable feedback. I couldn't be more pleased!

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be in the tea business?
It's an incredible industry full of people and resources that can help you succeed. Couple that with healthy competition, an economy hopefully bouncing back and a product re-gaining popularity and you have all the makings for an awesome journey!

Online Community
Twitter: @JoysTeaspoon

Gifts for lovers of tea with free wrapping of all items.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Tea guy, great questions! Joy's are awesome!